What would John have understood from the words ‘as we are one’? What kind of unity was that in the Gospel record so far?
- The Father and Son share one life (John 5:26, 6:57), and yet they are not identical as Persons. In the same way believers share in the family life of God as those born again by God’s Spirit, yet with all the variety of background, ethnicity and gifting.
- The Father and Son share one purpose (John 4:34). There is a strong emphasis in John’s Gospel on the unity of will between Father and Son, right up to and including the cross itself. Similarly, believers have a common mission and goal, while having multiple tasks and ministries in pursuit of it.
- The Father and Son share on agenda (John 5:19). What Jesus did, the Father did in and through him, such that ‘he who has seen me has seen the Father’. Similarly, Christian unity does not mean that we all do the same thing, but that all the things we do as believers have the coherence of a simple agenda – to serve God, glorify Christ and bring blessing to the world.
Chris Wright in Living Witness: Explorations in Missional Ethics p.55